Target employee kills co-worker for stealing his lunch

FAIRFAX COUNTY, VA – A 25-year-old Virginia man has been sentenced to 100 years in prison, with 30 suspended, for the murder of a co-worker who stole his lunch from a communal refrigerator at a Target store in Bailey’s Crossroads. Bazn Berhe could spend at least 70 years behind bars, according to a statement from the Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney.

In 2021, Berhe was found guilty of first-degree murder after carrying out a premeditated attack on Hernan Leiva, a 58-year-old janitor at the Target store they both worked at. The trigger for the fatal assault was reportedly heated disagreement after Leiva had taken Berhe’s lunch from the office refrigerator without permission.

Prosecutors detailed Berhe’s culpability, revealing how he had meticulously planned out the murder. Two days before the act, he purchased a hammer and two knives. The day after, he dedicated his time to what he confessed to detectives as “training for the murder.”

The morning of April 17 saw Berhe lying in wait for Leiva in the employee parking lot. As soon as Leiva approached his car, he was subjected to a brutal attack involving stabbing and bludgeoning that ended his life.

Following Berhe’s arrest, he admitted to the killing and pled guilty at the trial conducted in October. Because he justified his act as “a fit of rage,” the court determined that he would harm or kill others if he didn’t receive the most severe sentence possible.